Sunday, August 31, 2008

the greatest show ever...

so i have this friend. he thinks he's really funny. so funny, in fact, that the background music from this infamous puke-fest is his ring tone for me when i call...

deep creek campground.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

fishing is better than hiking.

against better judgement we hiked. it rained. it blew. i'm still not dry. and the wounds to my confidence as an outdoorsman aren't yet fully healed. the russian lakes trail, while majestic and beautiful, can take a juicy bite outta my hairy ass. the plan was to hike in 9 miles to aspen flats cabin for one night. take our time the next day for the next 3 miles to the upper russian cabin attempting to fish a bit behind all the sockeye. i knew there would be much bushwacking to get to the river from the trail. i knew the devil's club would be six feet high. i knew the weather would be fickle. i knew we'd be dancing with bears. i did my best to prepare lora of these facts. she said she was game.
having an adult bear stand up on the trail only fifteen yards ahead of you...downwind, while making a ton of racket, with no where to go because of the thick brush is somewhat concerning. and knowing how long is long enough for the bear to have left the area so we could keep on tramping thru isn't a decision i loved making.
simply put, we were out of shape...something else i was already aware of.
the chips were stacked against us before we even thought about getting motivated to fish.
the cabins were great. the newly remodeled upper russian cabin was amazing. kudos to the forest service. we chopped wood. napped. chopped more wood. watched the wind blow. had some black bear cubs dine on salmon off the front porch near the beach. it was peaceful and relaxing.
fishing was more difficult than i had imagined. the forest service provided row boat was useless due to the wind, although i attempted. this made my arms as useless as my already dead legs. i tried to fish the riverbank, but i admit, the bears had me spooked. they were darting in and out of the river like ghosts. and my visibility was crap. hearing cubs whining and screaming out off in the distance made it tough to concentrate on spotting rainbows amongst the millions of reds.
so the plan was one night at aspen, three at upper russian, back for one night at aspen, then back to the car. well, we gave it two nights at upper russian and said enough. i was craving a cheeseburger. lora was dying for a shower. we both needed a chiropractor. the decision was made to kill it back to the car from upper russian. 12 miles. it was crazy. but i wanted to get back to some water i could fish. oh and it was pouring rain. oh and we were cranky. oh and those fucking bears...especially the brown ones...they weren't scared of anything.
somewhere between the lakes, we shit our pants. i was hollerin' the entire hike. every ten yards it seemed, but probably not. lora had a dinner bell. we were, surprisingly, making great time. then out of nowhere...what sounded like the entire roster of the chicago bears came barrelling thru the woods. it actually was only a black bear, but it was right next to us. and it climbed a tree right after one of my shouts, so i didn't know what the hell was going on. lora said in a surprisingly calm tone, "bear." i said, "shit.", thinking a cub in a tree this close to us equals bad, bad news. i spun around and got lora behind me. a few seconds later it belly-flopped out of the tree and ran off screaming. we both laughed nervously. i tried to convince myself that it was only an adult with no cubs...definitely not an upset, protective mama. we trampled on thru the mess, i believe with a bit more pep in our step.
we got back to the car. collapsed. napped. got some lunch at gwin's. found a comfy cabin with a hot shower. and slept two days.
lessons learned.

Monday, August 25, 2008

early august.

only a few days left here in AK. here's some more images from earlier this month. these lazy, photo-only posts will end once i'm bored to death at work again later this week.

Friday, August 22, 2008


it all started innocent enough. if you've been in this area...i'm sure curiosity got the better of you. don't lie to've been there. i'm talkin' about "good time charlie's" on the outskirts of beautiful soldotna, alaska. we'd heard rumblings about its awesomeness and lack of a dental plan for its employees, but hey...we all have our weaknesses.
here's how it went down...
it was a wednesday night. granted probably not the preferred shift of the first team, but still. after stuffing down some taco bell in the lot next to a dusty limousine with a for sale sign in the dash, we walked in.
i'm pretty sure the music scratched to a stop. i think we heard crickets but i'm not sure since i was a little afraid, and, not to mention, it might be too cold here in alaska for crickets, but anyway.
during the week amit was here, we had been getting fairly accustom to this type of reaction walking in to any kind of local saloon. it was either because i usually was wearing flip flops or because amit had "jihad" written on his forehead. whatever.
amit ordered a couple ambers from the bar. i went to the restroom. pissed in the brown water toilet and then picked one of the three rusty sinks (one for each of the last three decades?) and washed my hands in the same said brown water.
we found a booth, which consisted of a card table and two of those plastic stackable lawn chairs they sell at fred meyer 4 for twenty bucks. the beer was cold, and we were happy to hear that no matter the health code violations the required over-the-top voiced dj still could get a job.
i think her name was sandy. she was voluptuous. and her outfit was sparkly. she had about ten older men at the stage. there were three or four other dancers sitting at a few other card tables. none should be working there.
sandy was dancing, lip syncing to something by britney spears or slayer, i'm not sure. the older men were into her. smiling. throwing dollar bills. she had her top off doing the things i've heard strippers do when they dance.
then...she leaned into one of the men, took not her breasts, but her belly, her gut...squeezed it together and made a second giant vagina and gave it to the man.
amit and i watched like seeing an withered old man naked in a YMCA locker room or a bloody car wreck on the side of the highway. we couldn't look away.
it was over quickly.
we each finished our beers on the next swig.
got up, walked out, started the car, and didn't say a word to each other the entire way home.

on a side note, if that limo is still for sale out front next year when i come back...i'm buying it. strip out those seats, throw on some mudders...that baby would be a sweet fish wagon.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

the high life...

greetings lower 48,
i'm sitting here in the anchorage airport next to the world record brown bear, stuffed, of course, for safety's sake. it's big.
waiting for amit to leave and lora to arrive. i suppose i have time for a little week one (and a half) recap. i've been out on the kenai peninsula. weather has been great...too great. these damn fish don't like the sun...bring on some clouds please. the trout bite hasn't picked up but we're catching dollies on every cast.
bears? yeah. too many. fishing alone later this month is gonna SUCK.
amit and i took a float plane to fish some silvers which was great. getting amit into a couple of those freight trains officially has him down with the sickness.
lora and i have a few days before we do the big hike-in, then we're gonna try to fill some more fish boxes.